Ugandan artist and teacher Ruganzu Tusingwire has built an amusement park using recycled materials including repurposed plastic bottles. In designing the park he notes that this initiative was a conscious effort to create a space for local children. The park is multi-faceted in that it allows a safe area for children to play all the while encompassing traits to psychologically and emotionally stimulate the children. In addition, by using recycled material to create this playground, Tusingwire is sparking creative ways for the children to actively participate in environmental initiatives. The project was awarded the 2012 TED Prize at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar.
Tusingwire is originally a gallery artist, who began to work on humanitarian relief efforts in Uganda. In particular, Tusingwire was interested in aiding local children who were suffering from nodding disease, an estimated 3,000 children are affected by this disease leaving them with serious physical and mental disabilities. Tusingwire’s interests in eco-art comes from his inspiration as a student at Kyambogo University. He shares his experience with Inhabitat:
I shifted from doing artwork to just hang on walls, having little influence on society, to doing art that solves community needs. Its helped me realize my value in society.
In addition, Tusingwire was a lead organizer for the first TedxKampala which placed an emphasis on ways in which local artists can encompass recycled materials as resource for their art. His commitment to eco-art stems from his creative imagination in merging humanitarian efforts via artistic expression. Tusingwire commented:
Art is unifying. We can use what is around us to create treasure, employment opportunities, and make the environment better. There is a wonderful world of possibilities before us.